Archive for March, 2013


On Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America, Music at the Institute (MATI) presented a Special Event “Myroslav Skoryk: complete works for violin and piana CD release.” The concert showcased Solomia Soroka, violin and Arthur Greene, piano.


Violinist SOLOMIA SOROKA, born in Lviv, Ukraine, is among the most accomplished Ukrainian musicians of her generation. She won top prizes in three international violin competitions held in the former Soviet Union – the Prokofiev, Lysenko, and Zolota Osin competitions. Ms Soroka earned her master’s degree summa cum laude and completed postgraduate studies at the Kyiv Conservatory, and later served on its faculty in the chamber music department. She also has a D.M.A. degree from the Eastman School of Music. Solomia Soroka made her solo debut at age 10, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, and has since appeared as soloist with that orchestra on numerous occasions. She has performed with the National Symphony of Ukraine and other orchestras in Ukraine, Australia, and the United States. Praised for playing “with great warmth and authority” (BBC Music Magazine), she has performed as soloist and as chamber musician at concerts and festivals in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, USA, Canada, China, and Taiwan. She has premiered a number of important contemporary Ukrainian compositions for violin, including works by Borys Lyatoshynsky, Myroslav Skoryk, and Yevhen Stankovych. Since her American debut in 1997, she has performed throughout the U.S. In a review of her recital in Washington, D.C. as part of the Smithsonian Institute performing arts series, The Washington Post described her as “a superbly equipped violinist… Her tone is warm and mellow on the low strings, brilliant on the high strings, perfectly controlled and expressively used.” Solomia Soroka has toured and recorded extensively with her husband, the American pianist Arthur Greene. Their Naxos recording of Four Violin Sonatas by William Bolcom was selected as a Recording of the Month with the highest ranking for both artistry and sound quality by Classics Today, and was hailed as “Another virtuoso piece…confidently delivered by this brilliant duo” (Gramophone). And their recording of the violin sonatas of Nikolai Roslavets, also for Naxos, has received international attention: “Soroka seemed utterly confident, catching a haunting, languid quality within Roslavets’s elusive harmonic idiom……” (The Strad). In the past two years Ms Soroka has been recording for Toccata Records, based in London. Her two premier recordings, the violin/piano music by forgotten American violinist Arthur Hartmann and the music by Holocaust composer Leone Sinigaglia, were released in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Solomia Soroka is currently a professor of violin at Goshen College, Indiana. She studied with Hersh Heifetz, Bohodar Kotorovych, Liudmyla Zvirko, and Charles Castleman.

Pianist ARTHUR GREENE’s dynamic and personal performances have won him acclaim in concert halls and competitions throughout the world. “A profound musician” (The Washington Post); “A masterful pianist (The New York Times); “Intoxicating appeal” (Mainichi Daily News, Japan); “A romantic splendor of sound-colors” (Ruhr Nachrichten); “Stellar Scriabinist” (American Record Guide) – these are but a few of the press accolades garnered by Arthur Greene. He is the winner of gold medals in the William Kapell and Gina Bachauer International Piano Competitions. Arthur Greene has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Czech National Symphony, the Tokyo Symphony, the National Symphony of Ukraine, and many others. He has played recitals in Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Moscow Rachmaninov Hall, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Lisbon Sao Paulo Opera House, Hong Kong City Hall, and concert houses in Shanghai and Beijing. He has toured Japan 12 times. Mr. Greene was an Artistic Ambassador to Serbia, Kosovo, and Bosnia for the United States Information Agency. Arthur Greene has performed the complete solo piano works of Johannes Brahms in a series of six programs at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. He has performed the 10 Sonata Cycle of Alexander Scriabin in Sofia, Kyiv, Salt Lake City, and other venues. His recording of these 10 Sonatas will be released in 2013. He has recorded the Complete Etudes of Scriabin for Supraphon. He has recorded the Violin-Piano Sonatas of William Bolcom and Nikolai Roslavets on two discs for Naxos, and the Violin-Piano music of Myroslav Skoryk, with his wife, the violinist Solomia Soroka. Mr. Greene received degrees from Yale University and Juilliard, and studied with Martin Canin. He is the Professor of Piano at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

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“Music at the Institute” was sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 East 79th Street, New York, NY
Solomiya Ivakhiv — Artistic Director • Mykola Suk — Artistic Advisor.

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Art @ the Institute, Exhibit Art-Nature-Art by Ron Kostuniuk

The Ukrainian Institute of America was pleased to present the constructivist art exhibition “Ron Kostyniuk: Art-Nature-Art”, which originated at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago under the title Ron Kostyniuk: Construction-neo-Construction and subsequently traveled to the Ukrainian Museum in New York under the title Ron Kostyniuk: Art as Nature Analogue. The exhibition opened on March 22, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America and is on display till April 7, 2013.


Ron Kostyniuk is a professor of Fine Art at the University of Calgary, where he has taught for over forty years. With nature as his source of inspiration, Canadian artist Ron Kostyniuk has been creating unique constructed relief sculptures since the 1960s. His work has been widely exhibited and is included in many private and museum collections in Canada. This exhibition features 28 sculptures created between 1967 and 2009 derived both from Kostyniuk’s fascination with biology and study of natural forms and from his interest in the work of modernist and constructivist artists such as Pablo Picasso, Alexander Archipenko, Charles Biederman, Naum Gabo, and Vladimir Tatlin.


My artwork subscribes to the utilization of geometrical form and to the articulation of space trough planar analysis…….I am very cognizant of the actual structuring processes – processes of morphogenesis that operate in nature as formative elements of space in specific cellular combinations. These unique natural systems, however, are not translated in my work into any form of replication, rather they are utilized as a source for metaphoric transposition into an art of geometric form and color interaction as a parallel to nature’s creative rhythms in their manifest splendor. In its most profound sense, the creation of art is a celebration of life. It is a celebration of life in that art is a creation about a creation – analogue to those processes that are found to be operative in nature – as a reflection of and as a reaffirmation of the spirit of man in communion with nature. Providing for a sense of identification with the universe, art embellishes, enriches and nourishes the human spirit. In all aspects art gives life to the imagination, a tactility to the mind’s eye and concrete form to abstract thought. Through the creative process, art externalizes the human spirit, transcends the mundane and lends playful exuberance to man’s perception of color/form/space/light/time in metaphoric transposition. Having originated with the first crystallizations of human experience of primeval man, art has operated as a culmination of the genetic pool of creative consciousness in communion with nature. As such, it is the conduit by which the artist relates to his past, attempts to understand his present and aspires to the future. In its most essential form, art strives to expose the mystery of being and functions as a bridge between man’s intellect and his soul. And like the old wizard moon orchestrating a soft ballet of moonbeams on a silver lake, the artist provides the guiding touch to much of this venture. As the pinnacle of this creative activity, the artist provides the heartbeat, the creative impulse that is the talent that inspires others in this celebration by providing the theatre stage on which one can dance. As the artist creates, so does the viewer in a symbolic relationship of the highest order. Engendered in all of mankind is a creative spirit – everyone dances when one dances, everyone sings when one sings and everyone sculpts when one sculpts. This is a creative journey that by necessity the artist cannot live without. It is a journey that everyone expects the artist to exercise with his most committed being and with the greatest integrity that the artist can muster. The artist’s vision is unique and as he dances omn this earth, his reflection shall register in the infinite meadow of the heavens, like blossoming stars, Longfellow’s “forget-me-nots of the angels.” This creative drive is a great tribute to the human spirit resulting in an activity whose resultant entity sings sweet like visual music for the mind of man and for the soul of mankind. Hopefully this is the “song” of my art.

Ron Kostyniuk

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“Art @ the Institute” was sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075

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“COLLECTIVE MEMORY” A Literary Evening with Fiction Collective Authors.

The Ukrainian Institute of America took part in the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of Fiction Collective, the premier author-run publishing house of innovative fiction in America, by hosting the literary evening “Collective Memory.” The event took place on Friday, March 15, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America. Participated Jonathan Baumbach, one of the publishing house’s two founders (along with Peter Spielberg), and four of its authors, Alain Arias-Misson, Steve Katz, Rob Stephenson and Yuriy Tarnawsky, some of whom are among the first to have been published by the Fiction Collective.

The importance of Fiction Collective and its direct successor, Fiction Collective Two, or FC2, in American literary life cannot be overestimated. It ushered in a new wave of bold and talented writers who dared to withstand the temptation to subjugate their creativity to the demands of big-house publishing executives’ tastes and to consider themselves free artists, as deserving of reaching the reading audience as their more famous, commercially oriented colleagues.


Mr. Arias-Misson has published five novels and four art books, and his stories have appeared in reviews such as Partisan Review, Paris Review, Brooklyn Rail, Fiction International, Evergreen, Black Scat in the U.S. and Luna Park in Paris as well as in numerous anthologies. His “literal objects” have been shown in museums and galleries around the world and his “public poems” enacted in the streets of a score of cities.

Mr. Baumbach has published 15 books of fiction, including most recently Dreams of Molly and YOU. Flight of Brothers will be out in June. He has published over 85 stories in such places as Esquire, American Review, O.Henry Prize Stories, All Our Secrets are the Same and Best American Short Stories.

Mr. Katz won the America Award in Fiction in 1991 with “Swanny’s Ways.” He has authored many books of fiction and poetry, as well as screenplays and small films. Recently he published “Antonello’s Lion”; his new book “The Compleat Memoirrhoids” will be released this fall.

Mr. Stephenson has been creating texts, music, video, films, paintings, drawings, and installations for over 30 years. He is the author of novel “Passes Through” (FC2). He received an outstanding achievement award from The Center For Experimental and Interdisciplinary Art. His drawings have been exhibited and his film, music and video projects have been presented at venues throughout the United States.

Mr. Tarnawsky has authored more than two dozen books of poetry, fiction, drama, essays, and translations, in Ukrainian and English. His fiction books include “Meningitis,” “Three Blondes and Death” and “Like Blood in Water” (all FC/FC2), and the collection “Short Tails” (JEF Books). His most recent publication is a collection of essays in Ukrainian “Flowers for the Patient” (Piramida Publishing). For his contributions to Ukrainian literature, in 2008 he was awarded the Prince Yaroslav the Wise Order of Merit by the Ukrainian government.

After the program, the authors’ books were available for purchase and the audience had the opportunity to meet the authors during the reception.

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Pysanka the Ukrainian Easter Egg. Exhibit and Lecture-Presentation by Sofika Zielyk

On Sunday, March 10, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America, artist Sofika Zielyk demonstrated the traditional batik process of the Ukrainian Easter Egg and discussed the history, legends, symbols and myths of this ancient and unique art form. The exhibition was on display at the Ukrainian Institute of America from March 8 – March 10, 2013.


Sofika, a native New Yorker, started making pysanky and ceramics when she was six, having learned the basics of these traditional Ukrainian art forms from her mother. What began as a hobby has through the years developed into a professional pursuit. She has lectured and exhibited her work most notably at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the American Craft Museum in New York and the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C. Interviews with Sofika have been published in New York Newsday, The World and I and The New York Daily News. In 1993 a bilingual book on “The Art of the Pysanka” by Sofika was published in Ukraine.

The art of the decorated egg, or the “pysanka” (from the Ukrainian verb “pysaty” or “to write”) dates back to pagan times. Folk tales reveal that people who lived in the region now known as Ukraine worshipped the sun. It warmed the earth and therefore was a source of all life. Eggs decorated with symbols of nature were chosen for sun worship ceremonies and became integral to spring rituals as benevolent talismans.

With the acceptance of Christianity in 988 AD, the decorated pysanka (plural – pysanky) continued to play an important role in Ukrainian rituals. Many symbols of the old sun worship survived and were adapted to represent Easter and Christ’s Resurrection.

A pagan legend maintained that the sun god was the most important of all the deities; birds were the god’s chosen creatures for they were the only ones who could get close to him. Humans could not catch the birds, however, they could obtain the eggs laid by the birds. Thus, eggs were magical objects, a source of life.

The Hutsuls — mountain people of Western Ukraine – believed that the fate of the world depended upon the pysanka. As long as the egg-decorating custom continued, the world would exist. If this custom was abandoned, evil – in the form of a horrible monster, forever chained to a mountain cliff – would overrun the world. Each year this monster-serpent would send out his henchmen to see how many pysanky were created. If the number was low, the serpent’s chains were loosened and he was free to wander the earth causing havoc and destruction. If, on the other hand, the number of pysanky increased, the chains were tightened and good would triumph over evil for yet another year.

Throughout the centuries, symbols on the pysanky, created using a batik (wax-dye) method, have endured and adapted to reflect changes. The triangle, which in pagan times meant air, fire and water or birth, life and death, in Christian times took on the meaning of the Holy Trinity. Grapes, a symbol of good harvest became a symbol for the church. Wheat or pine branches continue to signify health. Flowers and birds stand for happiness and spring. Hens and chickens symbolize fertility. Roosters are identified with masculinity and strength, as are oak leaves. Infinite lines signify fertility. Deer are strength and prosperity. Fish, also symbols of prosperity, represent Christianity as well.

According to custom older people should receive pysanky with darker colors and/or rich designs for their life has already been filled with experiences. It is appropriate to give young people pysanky with white as a predominant color because their life is a blank page ready to be filled.

Girls should never give their boyfriends pysanky that have no design on the top or bottom of the egg – the baldness on either end signifies that the boyfriend will soon lose his hair.

by Sofika Zielyk

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On Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America, Music at the Institute (MATI) presented “Beethoven, Barvinsky, Brahms and more.” The concert showcased Steven Tenenbom, viola, Peter Wiley, cello and Lydia Artymiw, piano.


STEVEN TENENBOM’s impeccable style and sumptuous tone have combined to make him one of the most respected violists performing today. He has appeared as guest artist with the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson and Beaux Arts Trios. As soloist, he has appeared with the Utah Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Brandenburg Ensemble. Mr. Tenenbom is the violist of the Orion String Quartet, the Quartet-in-Residence of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Mannes College of Music, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. He is also a co-founder of the exciting piano quartet, OPUS ONE. Mr. Tenenbom is a member of the viola faculty of The Juilliard School and the Bard College Conservatory of Music. He is also is the Coordinator of String Chamber Music of the Curtis Institute of Music. His recent recordings of the complete Beethoven quartets with the Orion Quartet are available on Koch International. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Mr. Tenenbom’s teachers have included Max Mandel, Heidi Castleman, Milton Thomas at USC, and Michael Tree and Karen Tuttle at the Curtis Institute of Music. Married to violinist Ida Kavafian, the Tenenboms live in Connecticut where they breed, raise and show champion Vizsla purebred dogs.


Cellist PETER WILEY enjoys a prolific career as a performer and teacher. He is a member of the piano quartet, OPUS ONE, a group he co-founded in 1998 with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violinist Ida Kavafian, and violist Steven Tenenbom. Mr. Wiley attended the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of David Soyer. He joined the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1974. The following year he was appointed principal cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for eight years. From 1987 through 1998, Mr. Wiley was cellist of the Beaux Arts Trio. In 2001 he succeeded his mentor, David Soyer, as cellist of the Guarneri Quartet. The quartet retired from the concert stage in 2009. He has been awarded an Avery Fischer Career Grant and was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1998 with the Beaux Arts Trio and in 2009 with the Guarneri Quartet. Mr. Wiley participates at leading festivals, including Music from Angel Fire, Chamber Music Northwest, OK Mozart, Santa Fe, Bravo! and Bridgehampton. He continues his long association with the Marlboro Music Festival, dating back to 1971. Mr. Wiley teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music and Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Lydia Artymiw-photo

Pianist LYDIA ARTYMIW has emerged as one of the most compelling talents among pianists of her generation. The recipient of both an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Prize, she has performed with over one hundred orchestras worldwide, with many of the leading conductors of our time. American orchestral appearances include the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony, as well as such orchestras as Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Minnesota, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Solo recital tours have taken her to all major American cities and to important European music centers, such as London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Rome, Zurich, Helsinki, and throughout the Far East (Taiwan, China, Korea, Singapore, Philippines). Critics have acclaimed her seven solo recordings for the Chandos label, and she has also recorded for Bridge, Centaur, Pantheon, and Artegra. Festival appearances include Aspen, Bantry (Ireland), Bay Chamber, Bravo! Vail Valley, Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, Chautauqua, Grand Canyon, Hollywood Bowl, Marlboro, Montreal, Mostly Mozart, Seattle, and Tucson. An acclaimed chamber musician, Ms Artymiw has collaborated with such celebrated artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Richard Stoltzman, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, Kim Kashkashian, John Aler, Benita Valente (with whom she has recorded for Centaur and Pantheon), the Guarneri, Tokyo, American, Borromeo, Miami, Orion, and Shanghai Quartets, and she has toured nationally with Music from Marlboro groups. Along with Arnold Steinhardt (first violinist of the Guarneri Quartet) and Jules Eskin (principal cellist of the Boston Symphony), she was a member of the Steinhardt-Artymiw-Eskin Trio for over ten years. A recipient of top prizes in the 1976 Leventritt and the 1978 Leeds International Competitions, she graduated from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and studied with Gary Graffman for twelve years. Lydia Artymiw is the McKnight Distinguished Professor of Piano at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and received the “Dean’s Medal” for Outstanding Professor in 2000.

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“Music at the Institute” was sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 East 79th Street, New York, NY
Solomiya Ivakhiv — Artistic Director • Mykola Suk — Artistic Advisor.

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